Battle of Lade 494 BCE
The Battle of Lade was a naval battle during the Ionian Revolt. The Ionian cities had allied together with the Lesbians in order to revolt against the Persian Empire of Darius the Great. The Greek cities of Asia Minor were angry over the tyrants that had been appointed by Persia. The tyrant of Miletus in 499 BCE was Artaphernes who decided to go on a mission to conquer Naxos in an attempt to curry favor in Miletus. The attempt was a failure and instead of being removed from Miletus, he decided to incite the Ionian people into rebellion.
The rebellion quickly spread and Persian forces spent three years fighting in Asia Minor but were never able to get the decisive victory they needed to put down the rebellion. In 494 BCE the Persian army and navy were sent straight to Miletus, where the rebellion had begun. The Ionian fleet gathered at Lade, an island off the coast of Miletus. The land defense of Miletus was left to the Milesians as the Ionians focused their attention to the sea.
The Persians were not sure they could defeat the Ionians outright and therefore tried to get some of the forces to defect. They were unsuccessful at first but once the fighting began, the Samian fleet accepted the Persian offer. When the Persian and Ionian fleet met, the Samians sailed off to join the Persians which collapsed the Ionian battle line. 11 Samian ships did stay behind refusing to abandon the Ionians. The Chian navy and a number of other ships also stayed behind and faced huge casualties. Eventually, the Chian ships could remain no longer and sailed back to Chios which ended the battle.
The defeat of the Ionian fleet spelled the end of the revolt as well. Miletus suffered greatly with most of the men killed and the women and children enslaved by the Persians. Many Samians were furious with the actions of their generals and decided to settle on the coast of Sicily with the people of Zancle. Milesians that were able to escape also settled there. Darius also sought to punish Athens and Eretria for supporting the revolt and invaded Greece the following year.